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Rob Baxter praises Exeter Chiefs as they reach sixth consecutive Gallagher Premiership final | Rugby Union News


“We came in, we were punchy and we started the game with great intensity. We managed to maintain that for most of the game,” Baxter said after Exeter’s 40-30 win over Sale in the half. Premiership final. Harlequins next Saturday

Last update: 06/19/21 9:40 PM

Exeter Chiefs rugby manager Rob Baxter watches during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby semi-final

Exeter boss Rob Baxter praised his team’s intensity after the Chiefs reached their sixth straight Gallagher Premiership final.

The reigning league champions face the Harlequins at Twickenham next Saturday after beating play-off opponents Sale Sharks 40-30.

Exeter is now looking for a third title in five seasons, and Baxter said: “Credit to the players. They had to dig deep last week (Exeter beat Sale 20-19 in their last regular season game), and they did. the same again, although I thought we had more control today.

“There were the struggles of the week with the two guys (Sam Skinner and Dave Ewers) banned. It was tough for us.

“But we got there, we were punchy and we started the game with great intensity. We managed to maintain that for most of the game.

“Most of our mistakes and mistakes have come from real enthusiasm in doing things, and I’ll take that any day of the week. Where we are now, I’m very happy.”

Exeter scored two tries while Sale’s England center Manu Tuilagi was off the field following a yellow card in the fifth minute after a swing arm hit Chiefs flanker Richard Capstick, who left and did not return.

Jack Nowell has been impressive at the back for the Chiefs

Jack Nowell has been impressive at the back for the Chiefs

Jack Nowell’s comeback saw Scotland captain Stuart Hogg make way and step onto the bench, and Baxter said: “It was tough for Stuart. At one point we were going to bring Jack Nowell back and then I have to do the call.

“(Wings) Tom O’Flaherty and Alex Cuthbert are doing fine, so unfortunately for Stuart he was the one who missed the game. That’s how it works.

“When you have three or four really good players playing for three positions, someone is missing every time. It was Stuart this time. That might not be the case next week.”

And in next week’s meeting, Baxter added: “These Harlequins players had a great second half today (against Bristol). It was a fantastic rugby game.

“My biggest worry is that we conceded 30 points, and that makes you think of what we will have to defend against next week.

“I hope we can keep the ball and cancel their threat.”

Sale, who is striving to reach a first Twickenham showpiece since 2006, had his moments, including a brace from center Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, while opener Robert Du Preez scored 13 points, before the number eight Dan Du Preez did not score a late try that Kieran Wilkinson converted.

“The game was lost in the first 20 minutes,” Sale rugby manager Alex Sanderson said.

Exeter Chiefs Henry Slade and Sale Sharks Tom Curry chat after the final whistle

Exeter Chiefs Henry Slade and Sale Sharks Tom Curry chat after the final whistle

“When the hangover subsides on Tuesday and we take a step back, we’ll be very happy how far we’ve come.

“We’ve come a long way. We had five guys aged 20 or under and they dominated. It’s exciting.

“We’re only going to ramp up, and it won’t be the last time we’re here.

“It was about laying a really solid foundation, a solid foundation to improve upon and build on, and we did, looking back now.”





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